Ricky Ponting and Nasser Hussain suggest solutions to tackle slow over-rate after Ashes penalty
England and Australia faced deductions in their World Test Championship points due to their failure to complete the required number of overs. In all five Tests, England struggled and, as a result, had 19 of their 28 points deducted, while Australia only received a penalty for their slow performance in the fourth Test held in Manchester, resulting in a loss of 10 points.
Former Australia captain, Ricky Ponting, expressed surprise at England's consistent failure to maintain the required over-rate throughout the recently concluded Ashes series. He found it hard to believe that even with an additional half-hour allocated, teams were unable to bowl the full quota of 90 overs.
A veteran of 168 Tests for the Kangaroos, Ponting suggested that involving umpires in the management of the game could be the key to encouraging players to become more proactive in maintaining the required pace.
Ponting was quoted as saying to the ICC review, “I think the umpires need to start just getting the players around more, getting them ready, getting them organised, making sure the batter’s ready to face up, making sure the bowler is at the end of his mark when the batsman gets back to his crease. We’ve got to find a way not to be losing so much time in these games.”
Nasser Hussain opined for a relatively different approach
On the other hand, Nasser Hussain, the former England captain, proposed a different approach to tackle slow over rates. He suggested that spectators should not be short-changed by witnessing only 80-85 overs of play after purchasing tickets for a full 90-over day. To address this issue, Hussain believes that the fielding team should be penalized for not completing the allotted overs in each session.
“Now what that will do is make players get through the day quicker, earlier, because the last thing you want is a three-and-a-half hour last session. The seamers, in particular, aren't going to be overly thrilled if they have to bowl three and a half hours in the end, so umpires need to be stronger with players,” said Hussain, who played 96 Tests for England.